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Discussion in 'Habitat Improvement' started by Deertrainer, Feb 14, 2020 at 8:48 AM.
Here's great podcast for you habitat junkies.
I clicked on #120 hinge vrs clear ready to listen for 2 minutes, be skeptical, and clear out and I'm almost to the end of the podcast as I type. These guys are spot on and I will listen to more of these.
The two acres that I hinged last year, I need to go back this year and cut down. Rabbits were the only beneficiaries.
I bought property in east Kentucky 2 yrs ago. I live in Michigan where hinge cutting is all the rage and useful. But, here in Kentucky I've learned from these guys it's not the best tool in habitat to use. It has its place but not like we do Michigan.
Hinge cutting can be useful if the right trees are hinged and they must be hinged at the correct hight, no higher then waist high. There is a guy who has a YouTube channel and he advocates head high, this is not only useless but dangerous and counter productive on why you hinge . You hinge to create browse as well as side and thermal cover. Very seldom will deer lay under head high hinge cuts..
This guy has a huge following it's a shame some of his info is bad..
Food plots are another subject , sometimes we put in too many we're not AG farmers. We need focus more on fall and winter plots and less on summer plots, let nature and your neighbors feed them all summer. Then in the fall you have the most attractive plots in the area and they will come don't worry that they will stay on your neighbors they typically won't , especially bucks.
I could go on and on and on..
Me too, I bought my ground in ky 13 months ago. I won't name names but some of hinge cut experts on youtube in Michigan are experts at not killing good bucks.
I call BS on Jeff Sturges's doe sink theory and why you shouldn't plant summer plots. If you want to kill good bucks you need to take the best care of your girls, primarily your dominant girls. Provide them the best fawning cover and the best food, clovers and weeds, and they will do two things. One, protect their fawning grounds, maintaining social cohesion assuring that there wont be too many does around. Two increase your chances at having good bucks on your ground come fall.
They say that only about 25% of all properties really benefit from hinge cutting.
The other is logging when you log off a property you need to make the decision am I logging to benefit wildlife or to make money because the two don't always go hand and hand.
I agree with what the fellas said in the podcast hinging is a tool and implement a little here and there.
Over looking my two acre hinge cut last year from my stand on one of my last hunts of the year. I hinged red maples hard leaving the tulip poplar crop trees. I did this knowing that I don't particularly like hinging but I wanted some instant cover and browse. The deer browsed the perimeter heavy and I never saw a deer within the hinge cut area. The rabbit population exploded in the area and I ended up with a dozen coyotes working the patch day and night and that does not help the deer hunting. I also did this knowing that I would be back in there soon chopping it all down to the ground. I will allow the red maples too resprout from the ground.
The problem is and I have seen this on properties I have owned and managed in GA and TN you can have too many does but only one truly dominant doe , nothing worse then a property with multiple dominant does, you get fights around food sources and they will even run bucks off. I don't take everything Jeff says or writes as the gospel but he does know his stuff when it comes to smaller parcels.
I've actually been at this a bit longer then him. We know does have a relatively small home range and a bucks can be as much as 1 to 2 square miles their core is considerably smaller the two seldom overlap.
Another issue with too many does is you will have a very weak rut ie: not as much chasing they don't need to, it also causes what we had in GA and parts of TN a trickle rut very little sign and little if any chasing
Bottom line I don't think there is any 100% right or wrong way to manage land. I and take most info with a grain of salt unless I have personal knowledge. I know what has worked on my properties.
Looks good. Sometimes it takes two to three years for a hinge cut to come into it's own.
If you hinge again make sure you have trails through not just all piled on top of one another, the deer will use it more if they can walk through it.
Listen to few of these podcasts. I've listened to a lot of them and these guys seemed to fit what I want to achieve. I've read all Sturgis's books, used Jake Ehlinger on my Michigan property met few of the other habitat guys. They all know their stuff just find these guys to fit Eatern Kentucky habitat better.
I picked eastern Kentucky because I was looking for a challenge and that's what I got. One feller on here, I can't recall his handle, made the comparison between Kentucky deer and Midwest deer. His main point was if you think these hill deer will act like Midwest deer you have another think coming. I experienced this first hand my first hunting season in Kentucky, I didn't want to shoot a little buck in my few sightings, or one of my 5 or 6 does, and my one target buck was never seen during shooting hours.
Where are you at?
I will certainly give you that, my dominant doe theory has it's caveates. It fit to a tee on my Iowa 80 acres where my dominant doe, Queenie ruled the roost for my whole 9 year tenure where there were probable 100 or so deer living on my 3 square mile block. On my 20 in Michigan with probably 125 deer/1/8 of a square mile not so much. With 6 to 8 does total frequenting my 164 acres in Kentucky my main emphasis is taking care of the girls.
Dr.woods, Bill Winkie, Jeff Sturgis..
Another biologist who's stuff I read is Kip Adams.